A TO Z INDIA - - Inside - - Sri­vatsa

An in­ter­na­tional daily TV talk show, ‘Awak­en­ing With Brahma Ku­maris’ is chang­ing peo­ple’s lives all over the world. The pro­gramme which is sim­ple and ex­plicit in na­ture em­pow­ers peo­ple to take charge of their lives and awak­ens them to their pure in­ner as­sets. The pur­pose of the pro­gramme is to give an in­sight into how and why we think and be­have in cer­tain ways. The process re­veals many of our sub­con­scious be­liefs and per­cep­tions which are con­trol­ling our thoughts and feel­ings and the con­se­quent be­hav­iours and then takes us on a jour­ney of self trans­for­ma­tion and thereby tak­ing charge of sit­u­a­tions.

The pro­gramme a house­hold name to­day, has helped peo­ple over­come men­tal stress, de­pres­sion, ad­dic­tions, low self-es­teem and un­happy re­la­tion­ships, as they take per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity for their lives and al­ter their out­look to­wards chal­lenges and be­come so­lu­tion ori­ented.

The source of knowl­edge of all that is dis­cussed on the show is the Ra­jyoga philosos­phy ex­pounded by the Brahma Ku­maris World Spir­i­tual Or­gan­i­sa­tion, an in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion with its Head­quar­ters in Mt. Abu, In­dia, and over 8,500 cen­tres in over 133 coun­tries.

The Brahma Ku­maris Story

Mount Abu, high in the Aravali Moun­tains of Ra­jasthan, pro­vided an ideal lo­ca­tion for re­flec­tion and con­tem­pla­tion for the orig­i­nal group's move from Karachi in 1950. Af­ter a few years in a rented build­ing, the com­mu­nity moved to the present site which re­mains the Pra­japita Brahma Ku­maris Ish­wariya Vishwa Vidyalaya (Brahma Ku­maris World Spir­i­tual Univer­sity). The Brahma Ku­maris spir­i­tual head­quar­ters is known as Mad­huban (‘For­est of Honey').

Hum­ble Be­gin­nings

Brahma Ku­maris was founded by Dada Lekhraj Kri­palani, a re­tired In­dian busi­ness­man, in 1937 in Hy­der­abad, a city now in Pak­istan. His spir­i­tual name is Pra­japita Brahma and he is lov­ingly called Brahma Baba. Af­ter ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a se­ries of vi­sions in 1936, he was in­spired to cre­ate a school where the prin­ci­ples and prac­tices of a vir­tu­ous and med­i­ta­tive life could be taught. The orig­i­nal name was 'Om Man­dali'. It con­sisted of a hand­ful of men, women and chil­dren, many of whom de­cided to stay to­gether as a com­mu­nity.

In spite of the in­cred­i­ble so­cial up­heavals which were go­ing on in prePar­ti­tion In­dia, these peo­ple came to­gether, ini­tially in Hy­der­abad and a year later they moved to Karachi. With time, a sim­ple and clear body of knowl­edge about the na­ture of the soul, God and time be­came re­vealed. In 1950 (two years af­ter Par­ti­tion), the group moved to its present lo­ca­tion in Mount Abu, In­dia. Un­til then, these nearly 400 in­di­vid­u­als lived as a self-suf­fi­cient com­mu­nity, de­vot­ing their time to in­tense spir­i­tual study, med­i­ta­tion and self-trans­for­ma­tion.

Brahma Baba, the founder

Brahma Baba, born into a hum­ble home as Lekhraj Kri­palani in the 1880s, was the son of a vil­lage school­mas­ter. Lekhraj was brought up within the dis­ci­plines of the Hindu tra­di­tion. Af­ter dif­fer­ent jobs, he en­tered the jew­ellery busi­ness, later earn­ing a con­sid­er­able for­tune as a di­a­mond trader. He was the fa­ther of five chil­dren and a leader within his lo­cal com­mu­nity, known es­pe­cially for his phi­lan­thropy. In 1936, around the time when most peo­ple at his age start to plan their re­tire­ment, he ac­tu­ally en­tered into the most ac­tive and fas­ci­nat­ing phase of his life. Af­ter a se­ries of deep spir­i­tual ex­pe­ri­ences and vi­sions, he felt an ex­tremely strong pull to give up his busi­ness and ded­i­cate his time, en­ergy and wealth to lay­ing the foun­da­tions of what later would be­come the Brahma Ku­maris World Spir­i­tual Univer­sity.

Between 1937 and 1938, he formed a Man­ag­ing Com­mit­tee of eight young women and sur­ren­dered all his

prop­erty and as­sets to a Trust ad­min­is­tered by them. Af­ter guid­ing the cre­ation of many Brahma Ku­maris cen­tres through­out In­dia, he passed on in Jan­uary 1969. The Tower of Peace on the Mad­huban cam­pus is a trib­ute to the in­vin­ci­ble spirit of this or­di­nary hu­man be­ing who achieved great­ness by ris­ing to the chal­lenge of the deeper truths of life.

Many years have passed since Brahma Baba's se­ries of vi­sions in 1936. The life­style revo­lu­tion he be­gan has in­spired mil­lions to em­power them­selves and cre­ate hope for the fu­ture. The life skills that Brahma Baba taught have stood the test of time. The young women that he put to the fore­front, now in their eight­ies and nineties, have be­come bea­cons of love, peace and wis­dom.

Cur­rent lead­ers Dadi Janki

Born in 1916, she is the ac­tive Spir­i­tual Head of Brahma Ku­maris. With un­shake­able con­vic­tion, she re­fuses to set lim­i­ta­tions for her­self through her tire­less ser­vice to oth­ers. She has been thus en­gaged since 1937 and also spent 40 years based in Lon­don from 1974. She has in­spired in­di­vid­u­als of all cul­tures and profes­sions to live ac­cord­ing to a higher sense of pur­pose and to con­tribute to the cre­ation of a bet­ter world. Deep and in­sight­ful, she is an ab­so­lute joy to lis­ten to and ob­serve.

Dadi Hir­daya Mo­hini

She is the Ad­di­tional Spir­i­tual Head of Brahma Ku­maris. Her name means ‘The one who at­tracts the heart'. It fits the way she is ex­actly. Pop­u­larly known as Gulzar (‘rose gar­den'), she was one of the orig­i­nal mem­bers of the board­ing school set up in 1937 by Brahma Baba. Her long-term, con­cen­trated train­ing in spir­i­tual prin­ci­ples and prac­tice has made her a liv­ing ex­am­ple of virtues. Sim­ple, silent and pro­found she also in­spires mil­lions through­out the world.

Dadi Ratan Mo­hini

She is the Joint Spir­i­tual Head of Brahma Ku­maris and is one of the back­bone mem­bers re­sid­ing at the Head­quar­ters. In child­hood she cre­ated the foun­da­tion of her life in the early days of Brahma Ku­maris. She lives up to her name 'most beau­ti­ful jewel' by al­ways ap­pear­ing light and ten­sion-free. Ded­i­cated and forth­right, her fo­cus has been the de­vel­op­ment and train­ing pro­grammes for teach­ers through­out In­dia and serves as the spir­i­tual re­source to the team of young peo­ple re­spon­si­ble for the per­sonal de­vel­op­ment and growth of youth. Now in her eight­ies, she re­mains lively and young at heart.

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